White House Senior Adviser Anita Dunn’s newly released ethics disclosure reveals serious conflicts of interest — namely, she consulted for Pfizer.
As the founding partner of the Democratic consulting powerhouse SKDKnickerbocker, now known simply as SKDK, Dunn advised several major corporations on government business for years, including Pfizer, AT&T, Lyft, Micron, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Salesforce, and Reddit, according to the disclosure.
During that time, Dunn worked as a senior adviser to Biden from January 2021-August 2021, after working as Biden’s campaign manager during the 2020 election (Dunn bragged that while she developed campaign strategy, SKDK created the campaign’s vote-by-mail effort in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona). She came back to the White House as a full-time adviser in May 2022.
Given the nature of Dunn’s role, Jeff Hauser of the Revolving Door Project told Politico Dunn is “too senior at a cross-cutting job” to recuse herself in a meaningful way from all matters involving SKDK and past clients.
Because of Dunn’s employment classification and salary level in 2021, she dodged the traditional ethics disclosure requirement government officials usually must submit (publicly disclosing past consulting clients, investments, and other possible conflicts of interest). Dunn was able to keep her firm’s clients private, especially clients that had a particular interest in access to the Biden White House, such as Pfizer.
Of course, the major pharmaceutical company would desire access to the nation’s chief executive, especially as the administration devised its messaging on the Covid jab, kept up its health “emergency” facade, determined vaccine approval, and issued mandates requiring large swaths of Americans to get the shot or else risk losing their jobs.
But now that Dunn’s financial disclosures have been made public, Dunn and her husband, attorney Bob Bauer, must divest their massive investment portfolio worth between $16.8 million and $48.2 million. Dunn must also recuse herself from all matters involving SKDK and her past clients, though as Hauser noted, that’s functionally impossible.
“We’re confused how you could possibly serve in the White House with just a Pfizer relationship given … Pfizer’s ubiquity across the top issues for the administration — let alone the others,” Hauser said.
Dunn’s conflicts of interest extend beyond Pfizer. Last week, Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law, and the same day, Micron announced it would invest $40 billion between now and 2030 to manufacture chips in the United States. Micron is also one of Dunn’s former clients.